So, it turned out the weather gods didn’t want us to go to the Channel Isles after all. We did, however, manage to cross the Channel at least. The big bad weather was just behind us all the way so we were quite lucky. It took us 28 hours to get from Porthallow to Camaret via L’Aberach and the Chanel du Four. We were sailing on Azenor this time, a 33’5 Beneteau, with another couple and Oli, another one of the Trysail gang.


From Camaret we then sailed inland, up the river Aulne, in order to shelter fully from the worsening westerlies and 3m swell. The river trip involved sailing under the pont du Terenez, going into a lock at Guilly-Glaz, stumbling across some rusting military boats, sailing off the GPS into unchartered waters (“0.5 under the keel?”) and settling in at the head of the river at Chateaulin.


We sat out the worst of the weather eating crepes and drinking red wine and were then ready to turn round and head back. James and I tried our best French out over the VHF radio, logging passages with the coastguard etc. We returned to Camaret for another night in the company of the old colourful wrecks and then all overslept for our early start to Chanel du Four the next day. Our passage back was thick, dense fog for a solid 18 hours, pretty tiring on the eyes, with a steady 4/5 SW we were flying back at 7knots with visibility so bad that you couldn’t even see the next wave. We were lucky again with the swell though as it wasn’t the 2.5m rough sea state that had been forecast so the fog was the only issue and thankfully we had AIS.


As I got up for my final watch shift at 2:30am Friday (we had left Camaret at 7:30am Thursday) I was at the helm, taking us into Falmouth, when Oli asks me to start the engine and it fails. Turns out engine starter battery had been drained by mistake so we sailed into Falmouth, no nav lights, no compass lights or instrument lights, trying to conserve any power to get the donk on inside. Alas, we couldn’t revive her, so we sailed onto a pontoon and Oli swiftly jumped ship to nick a starter battery off another Trysail boat and wire it in. Nothing like a spot of electrical engineering at half 3 in the morning! An eventful end to an amazing trip.